Sunday, June 7, 2020

Nostalgia Is A Helluva Drug!

Everyone that reads card blogs, frequents card-related forums, or checks out the various hobby publications has seen these lines many, many times:

"That's the first set I remember (collected/opened packs of, etc)!"

"I loved that set growing up!"

"My father (or older brother) had that set"

And so on. If I had a buck for every time I've read those, I'd own a '52 Mantle. Heck, If I had a buck for every time I've said something along those lines I'd own the whole '52 Topps set. No doubt nostalgia for things that bring back fond memories drives a segment of this hobby. For me, it drives about 90% of what I collect. What I collected and enjoyed as a kid is largely what I collect today.

Which brings me to this latest Net54 purchase of mine. I sprung for some cheap Challenge The Yankees cards. I wrote about this game previously, particularly in this rundown of all the card/dice/electronic baseball games I've owned through the years.

Challenge The Yankees was the simplest of them all. You rolled the two dice and read the results off the hitters' card. Who the pitcher was made absolutely no difference. Hank Aaron's chance of a homer was the same against Marshall Bridges as it was against Whitey Ford. But that didn't matter to my friends and I. We liked it more than the Cadaco All-Star Baseball game of the era that used a spinner. Dice never 'landed on a line' like the spinner could, which always led to 'debates'.

There were some cards to pull when you rolled a 'ground ball' result and some other enhancements. But for the most part, it was just you, the dice, and the player cards. 

CTY was issued in both 1964 and 1965. Many of the same players appeared both years but the rosters did change a bit. I had the '64 edition. I remember that the aforementioned Marshall Bridges was included.

The players' cards were all the same format for both editions. The Yankees had blue at the top.

The Yankees of this era liked catcher/outfielders. Johnny Blanchard, an aging Yogi Berra, and Elston Howard all fit that mold in the early 60s.

After the days of Joe Dimaggio and Allie Reynolds, my father latched on to some of the lesser Yankee regulars. He was a Hector Lopez guy.

The All-Stars were green.

A few years back someone tried to revive the Challenge The Yankees game with a crowdsourced edition through Indiegogo. I backed the project but it failed to make the minimum, and we were refunded. I was pretty disappointed. Sports Collectors Daily had a story about the game and the folks behind the attempted re-boot. The rosters from both editions of the game are at the bottom.

The cards of some of the star players from the game, Mickey Mantle in particular, can get pretty pricey. My originals are long gone. These 'commons' will serve to remind me of the hours I spent with my father and my friends playing this (and the other) baseball board games.


  1. Very cool game! I'd love to own it. I was a little younger and grew up on Statis-Pro Baseball. Similar idea, if a little more involved. Had a lot of fun!

  2. CTY came about 10 years too early for me, but I don't doubt I would've had fun playing it.

  3. Sounds like a fun game. And the player cards are very well designed for being "board game" cards. It'd be pretty cool to stumble across one of these board games at a flea market or card show.

  4. It's too bad support/funding for the remake didn't take off. Looks like a fun game, and a nice occasional departure from so much digital stuff.